ARM's Cortex-A75 and A55 cores are ready to power next-gen phones

ARM has unveiled its next-generation CPU cores, the Cortex-75 and the Cortex-A55. The Cortex-A75 will be aimed at the premium segment while the Cortex-A55 core will cater to the mid-range category.

The company is touting "ground-breaking performance" from the Cortex-A75 core, which delivers a 20% uptick in single-threaded performance from the A73. The A75 will be able to deliver up to 50% more performance in multithreaded use cases, with ARM focusing on artificial intelligence and machine learning. The core also offers 16% more memory throughput, as well as a 30% increase in performance on large-screen devices.

The cores are the first to be built on ARM's DynamicIQ platform, a more flexible and scalable solution to heterogeneous computing. DynamicIQ allows vendors greater freedom in choosing the cores — including a 1+7 configuration where a single Cortex-A75 core is paired to seven A55 cores. Chipset makers can also use a 4+4, 2+6, 1+3, or other configurations in a single cluster, giving them the ability to maximize the performance or deliver an SoC that's geared for efficiency.

DynamicIQ cores

The A53 core is used in a wide spectrum of devices today, from the $85 Moto G4 Play to the $400 Moto Z Play. Over 1.5 billion devices are powered by the Cortex-A53 core, making it ARM's most successful processor to date.

The Cortex-A55 is its long-awaited successor, offering a 15% increase in energy efficiency, double the memory performance, and ten times the scalability of the A53. ARM also notes that the core can deliver a similar amount of performance as the A53 while consuming 30% less energy in "designs where power is more important than performance." More importantly, the Cortex-A55 is able to deliver sustained performance for a lot longer than the A53, making it ideal for AR and VR.

ARM Cortex A series

ARM rolled out the Bifrost GPU architecture last year with the Mali-G71 GPU, offering significantly increased throughput from the earlier Midgard designs. The Mali-G72 offers incremental updates, including a 20% increase in performance as well as 25% gains in energy efficiency.

In related news, a leak out of China suggests the Snapdragon 845 will be powered by the Cortex-A75 cores. The Snapdragon 835 uses a semi-custom design that features Cortex-A73 cores, so it isn't surprising that next year's SoC will utilize ARM's latest high-performance core. Devices powered by the new processors will be launching sometime in the first quarter of 2018.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is Android Central's Senior Editor of Asia. In his current role, he oversees the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, networking products, and AV gear. He has been testing phones for over a decade, and has extensive experience in mobile hardware and the global semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.